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Thursday, 06 October 2016


May I just say, apropos of very little, that Old and in the Way was a damn good album.

Carry on.

I have 2 of those Arca Swiss 4x5 cameras plus the 8x10 version as well. I guess I'm just keeping them around for the day that KODAK reinvents itself as a photography company and starts to roll out color negative film which in turn regenerates 100s of custom color labs at which point I will again set up my color printing darkroom and live happy as a clam ever after.

I wonder if that camera has enough bellows for the Wollensak triple convertible at it's longer lengths which are 20" and 25.5".

I don't recall seeing any Adams work that looked like it was done with such long focal lengths.

Arca was my all round camera for quite a while.
I settled on a 5x7, which was a great format.

While others are drawn to Ansel's 4x5 my eye went to the Chicago Majestic tripod and geared head. I have owned two and they excel for product or still life. Like an old piano, sellers seem received to sell these hulks, so they can be inexpensive.

About 15 years ago I was in the Calumet San Francisco store and saw a used enlarger (memory is foggy but I think it was a large format Beseler). It had a red tape from one of those label makers on it that read "The private property of Ansel Adams, xxx 26th Avenue, SF." The selling price was about what you would expect for a used enlarger of that type. Maybe I should have bought it.

I examined an 8x10 Sinar Norma from a private seller in S.F. Ca.....about25 or 30 years ago.......the price was 1500.00....which was a lot more than I had....it came with an extra 4x5 back....which had a label on it...property of Ansel Adams........i really wished I had borrowed the $ and bought it......just like I wish I hadn't given back an original Arbus 8x10 proof print that a friend had given me.The print was of her grandmother...never sold...never reprinted.....i gave it back as a courtesy ...when said grandma died....subsequently the proof has been verified...is one of a kind...has been published...and is worth God only knows how much $......

[The better known images sell for more, but if it was a vintage print made by Arbus herself in her darkroom, a rough estimate would be somewhere between $25,000 and $75,000. Really depends on the picture. --Mike]

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